Send to

Choose Destination
Diabetes. 2009 Jan;58(1):30-8. doi: 10.2337/db08-0943. Epub 2008 Oct 3.

Increased secretion and expression of myostatin in skeletal muscle from extremely obese women.

Author information

Human Performance Laboratory, Faculty of Kinesiology, Roger Jackson Center for Health and Wellness, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.



Obesity is associated with endocrine abnormalities that predict the progression of insulin resistance to type 2 diabetes. Because skeletal muscle has been shown to secrete proteins that could be used as biomarkers, we characterized the secreted protein profile of muscle cells derived from extremely obese (BMI 48.8 +/- 14.8 kg/m(2); homeostasis model assessment [HOMA] 3.6 +/- 1.0) relative to lean healthy subjects (BMI 25.7 +/- 3.2 kg/m(2); HOMA 0.8 +/- 0.2).


We hypothesized that skeletal muscle would secrete proteins that predict the severity of obesity. To test this hypothesis, we used a "bottom-up" experimental design using stable isotope labeling by amino acids in culture (SILAC) and liquid chromatography/mass spectometry/mass spectometry (LC-MS/MS) to both identify and quantify proteins secreted from cultured myotubes derived from extremely obese compared with healthy nonobese women.


Using SILAC, we discovered a 2.9-fold increase in the secretion of myostatin from extremely obese human myotubes. The increased secretion and biological activity of myostatin were validated by immunoblot (3.16 +/- 0.18, P < 0.01) and a myoblast proliferation assay using conditioned growth medium. Myostatin was subsequently shown to increase in skeletal muscle (23%, P < 0.05) and plasma (35%, P < 0.05) and to correlate (r(2) = 0.6, P < 0.05) with the severity of insulin resistance.


Myostatin is a potent antianabolic regulator of muscle mass that may also play a role in energy metabolism. These findings show that increased expression of myostatin in skeletal muscle with obesity and insulin resistance results in elevated circulating myostatin. This may contribute to systemic metabolic deterioration of skeletal muscle with the progression of insulin resistance to type 2 diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center